Small business printers FAQs
Here we answer some of the most common questions related to finding the best printer for business, including how to choose a printer based on price, as well as between an all-in-one or a laser printer. Plus, we provide some of the key benefits your business could experience from having a printer.
1. How do I choose the best budget printer?
You could consider an all-in-one printer, as they offer printing, photocopying, scanning (and sometimes even faxing) facilities through one device. So not only freeing up space for other equipment or more room in your office, they provide cost-saving benefits too.
Inkjet printers tend to be cheaper to buy and operate so are a good option for budget-conscious business owners. Although as the ink needs drying time, the print-outs are at risk of smudging. These are a smaller, more compact type of printer too.
When calculating printer prices, consider the purchase cost, as well as any maintenance charges and ongoing expenditure.
Remember that in addition to the printer price, you should also take into account the price of printer consumables too, such as paper and ink or toner. Plus, find out how much ink and other consumables it comes with, if any.
It’s also wise to consider energy features, such as eco settings or auto-power off buttons. Review if these functions are available and if so, how they are operated and if your business needs them. These could help lower your business energy bills as your printer won’t be wasting electricity when not in use.
Another way to lower costs could be to consider a subscription service for your printer ink, allowing your business to receive ink an ongoing basis (which could work out to be more cost-effective) instead of buying individually as and when you run out.
Finally, don’t let the words ‘laser printer’ put you off – they’re not always more expensive than inkjets, and depending on your business’ needs, could be the best option for your printing requirements.
2. How do I choose the best laser printer for office use?
Laser printers use toner to bond text and images to the paper directly. This means drying time isn’t necessary and print-outs will be smudge-free. However, laser printers tend to be bigger in size and more expensive to purchase and run than their inkjet counterparts.
Generally, laser printers are more suitable for text-based printing, whereas inkjets are better for printing images and photos. If you do opt for a colour laser printer, this is more for printing charts, diagrams and graphs (for example) in colour.
It’s worth noting that LED printers are another option, as they work like a laser printer, only with an LED instead – although often attract a higher price tag.
If your small business only prints from time to time, say on a weekly basis, or less, then a laser printer is ideal. For those businesses needing to print every day, then an inkjet printer may be a better match.
Laser printers offer:
- Higher resolutions
- Quicker printing (after warm-up time)
- Capacity for printing text; colour laser printers for charts, diagrams and graphs
Overall, for the average small business looking to print a low level of text documents each week, a mono (black and white) laser printer is likely to be ideal.
3. How to choose the best all in one printer for small business
An all-in-one printer offers just that – printing, copying and scanning, in one device. Some models offer additional features too, like duplexing (printing on both sides of the paper), as well as hole punching and stapling, plus other more advanced functions too.
They are also known as multi-function (MFPs) – a printer that only prints is a single function printer. MFPs can be laser or inkjet based. An inkjet printer will be slower when duplex printing as you’ll need to allow for drying time for each side of the paper. However, it’ll be quicker to start the printing process, as they need less time to warm up.
If you need to print, scan, fax and copy a lot of multiple page documents then an automatic document feeder (ADF) function will make this process easier and quicker.
Some possible features include:
- Flatbed scanners
- Photocopy from the printer directly
- Automatic document feeder (ADF)
If you’re looking for a printer that offers multiple functions and gets going quickly to print for a short amount of time (in a home office, for example) then all-in-one printers could be ideal.
4. What are the benefits of having a printer?
Whether you opt for a printer with a laser or inkjet, an all-in-one device or a single function, there are many benefits for your small business. Some potential benefits include:
- Cost-saving – cut out charges for having documents printed externally and instead create your own professional print-outs in-house
- More space – if you choose an MFP, then you’ll only need the space for one machine that can cater to all your business’ printing, scanning and copying needs, instead of several machines all taking up valuable desk or work area
- Networked devices – printers that are networked mean that several devices can be connected to the same printing network, so that each can send documents to the printer
- More time – with a click of a button, you can print any documents you need in a matter of minutes and just collect them from across the office when you’re ready, giving you more time to spend on other areas of your business
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